NEWS > Home Saturday, 8 Dec 2007
Verbeek lands Socceroos job - EXCLUSIVE - David Lewis
 

> The chosen one ... FFA will be hoping that Pim Verbeek has as much success as former Aussies boss Guus Hiddink Photo Getty
 
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Pim Verbeek has pipped Philippe Troussier and been confirmed as the Socceroos coach on Thursday afternoon, finally ending the worldwide search by Football Federation Australia.

FFA CEO Ben Buckley contacted Troussier's Australian-based representatives Thursday at 2pm (AEDT) to inform the Frenchman - who is currently in Sydney - that his application for the job was unsuccessful.

Buckley and FFA Chairman Frank Lowy are understood to have made the decision to appoint Verbeek after discussions with the 51-year-old former Korea Republic coach in Singapore Wednesday.

"After very careful consideration and a rigorous recruitment process I am delighted that we have secured the services of a very experienced and respected national coach for the Qantas Socceroos," Lowy said.

Intense lobbying from the FFA's Dutch technical director Rob Baan and the backing of former Socceroos coach Guus Hiddink played a key role in Verbeek pipping Troussier.

The decision maintains the continuity of the Dutch technique and playing style fostered by Hiddink at the 2006 World Cup and adopted, with less success, by his short-lived successor Graham Arnold at July's Asian Cup.

"I am looking forward to the challenge ahead of qualifying for the 2010 FIFA World Cup and I am committed to also helping to develop the game in Australia," Verbeek said.

"I intend to become as familiar as possible with football in Australia and I will be based in Australia and intend to relocate immediately."

"I will be in Australia next week to observe players in the final rounds of the Hyundai A-League."

Verbeek, who led the Korea Republic to third place at the Asian Cup, quit immediately after, and his first test for Australia will be guiding the Socceroos through their first World Cup qualifying campaign through Asia.

"Finding the coach who we felt would be able to guide us through a very challenging FIFA World Cup qualifying path has been our number one priority and we are delighted that Pim Verbeek will be the man to lead the national team," Buckley said.

Verbeek was deputy to Hiddink as Korea stormed to the semi-finals of the World Cup in 2002 and was Dick Advocaat's assistant when they crashed out in the group stage at Germany 2006.

Olyroos coach Graham Arnold will be Verbeek's right hand man, according to the new Aussie boss, with Baan also expected to play a key role in the national team structure.

However, Verbeek will be adding to his support staff in the near future as the Socceroos look to cover all their bases on the path to South Africa 2010.

Earlier on Thursday, a confident Troussier was outlining his plans to turn Australia in to an Asian superpower as he anticipated filling the void left by Advocaat’s about-face.

Talking for the first time following hush-hush discussions with Buckley and fellow interrogators John Boultbee (high performance manager) and Phil Wolanski (board member), he outlined his plan to utilise A-League players in the World Cup qualifiers against Qatar in Melbourne in February and away to China in March; his "exciting" style of play and the "pride" he would feel should he land the job Advocaat shunned for a pot of Russian roubles.

Troussier, 52, sounded like a man with one hand on the wheel when he said from Sydney: "I have been away from coaching for two years and this is an engrossing challenge for me."

"I see Australia with massive potential and also high expectations of going to the World Cup."

"I share that dream with them. I have been there twice before (with Japan in 2002 and South Africa in 98) and I know what is required."

"There is also pressure because the public want success and you need strong personalities to achieve that."

Troussier, who also guided the Blue Samurai to Asian Cup triumph in 2000 and third place at the 2001 Confederations Cup during his four-year stay, planned to live in Australia during his reign, with occasional forays to Europe to convene with top overseas talent like Tim Cahill, Harry Kewell, Vincenzo Grella, Mark Bresciano and Brett Emerton.

He was also formulating a Boxing Day summit in England with the nation’s European-based elite.

He described his style as a fusion of European, African and Asian after spells in charge of Qatar, Cote d'voire, Nigeria, Burkina Faso and Morocco – in addition to Japan and South Africa.

"It's a little from each of them, I have been living outside of France for over 20 years and there are many influences - most of all I like my teams to play with adventure," he added.

Cultured and urbane, Troussier, who has been writing a book on his football philosophy during his break from the game, said he felt re-energised.

"I was busy with a book, going to seminars, watching games, spending time with my children – football was never far away from my thoughts and now I am ready to return."

He still will. Though not with Australia.

Pim Verbeek: Coaching History

1981-1984: Sparta Rotterdam
1989-1991: Feyenoord
1992-1993: FC Groningen
1994-1997: Fortuna Sittard
1998-2000: Omiya Ardija
2000-2002: South Korea (assistant coach)
2002-2003: PSV Eindhoven (reserves team)
2003: Kyoto Purple Sanga
2004: Netherlands Antilles
2004-2005: Borussia Monchengladbach (assistant coach)
2005: UAE (assistant coach)
2005-2006: Korea Republic (assistant coach)
2006-2007: Korea Republic

Last modified: 6 December 2007 15:30:43

 
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